Wednesday, April 24, 2024

April Teen Overnight and Camp is Coming!


Have you ever wondered what it might be like to play with 100 stressballs? All at once?  (A big thank you to Catholic Charities for the donation!) Or maybe sleep on the floor at Center? Curious how many mini marshmellows fit into the mouth of a teen or what time a room of young ladies might go to sleep? Maybe not. But I bet you might be more interested if you could feel the energy of people connecting for the first time in warmth and love and supporting each other in safety as they explore spiritual practices. Our young people of CSL have such an amazing way of welcoming and accepting each other and opening themselves up when sometimes it can be very scary. We recently held a Teen Overnight at CSL Santa Rosa. Good 'ole fashioned pizza, games and fun- but with a twist. 

If you've met me- you know I love our youth at CSL and I love planning things for them. They had such a fun time at camp over the winter and were eager to spend more time together and continue to build relationship with other New Thought teens. As our movement is coming back out post pandemic the growth has been steady. Both in number of youth as well as their spiritual growth. 

During this overnight we practiced writing our own mind treatments, meditation, spiritual circulation of giving and receiving, talked about things that are on our minds and made new friends! (We also ate a copious amount of jello and marsh-mellows.) As they entered the weekend so they did not leave. They are all a little wiser, hearts filled, new experiences had, loved on a little more by people who care.

We look forward to hosting more events over the summer and already have plans for another over night. We can't wait to see our friends again at summer camp. If you have a teen who might be interested in joining- we have some spaces open! Please contact the Youth and Family Coordinator for more information before May 20.  Also, another big thank you to our adult volunteers! 

Jennifer Caldwell
Youth and Family Coordinator

(Yes, this is my candle holder out of a playdoh jar!)

Monday, March 18, 2024

Spring is Coming!

 Spring is Coming! 

Every year, sometime in January, I start getting achy for the sun to return and for Spring to come.   I think about what I want to do in the garden, long for warmth of the sun and grow wearisome of being cold and of sweaters. I have, over time, had to develop patience for the period between January and the actual Spring to come. This year seemed especially hard to hold out hope for the return of the warmth as the rain soaked every inch of our county. Don't get me wrong, I am greatful for the rain but was definitely longing for sun.

In Science of Mind, we have a very useful teaching metaphor about planting a seed and of all gardening as a matter of fact. Maybe you've heard it? It can go something like this. We are taught that our minds are the fertile soil for which thoughts are the seeds. We can plant what we want there and nurture it to grow. We talk about the importance of tending this garden and the practice of removing anything unwanted to make space for the seed we planted. It is actually the basis for our teaching symbol.

When working with our youth, I have repeated this metaphor- usually I like to help plant some actual seeds to go along with the project. Last year we got some wildflowers growing in a little planter box in my office window. The children took joy in spraying it with water each Sunday and watching the seeds emerge. We wondered which color flower would emerge. We even had a chance to discuss some of the seedlings that didn't make it. Not all ideas are meant to grow and must be given the conditions that it needs.

Over this last Winter I was so blessed to get to go with our Teens to Teen camp. In fact, when they got back they immediately set about planning how to get back to camp in the summer and to bring more friends along with them. A seed had been planted and they were nurturing it. I was in awe at their complete conviction and readiness to not only return but to bring others along. It wasn't the mid winter longing- it was just a knowing that it will happen. (You can contact me or click on the link for more information: 

It is that same energy I try to use with my own children as I guide them into being the best versions of themselves. I remember a time when I was absolutely certain that we would not have need for any screen time. I thought I would always have enough time to sit and read and that it would cultivate curious and creative children. For a long time that seed was blooming in our parenting garden. Life got busier and then at some point we came across a realization that one of our two kiddos struggles with written word and does much better with audio. In fact, absolutely loves audio books, documentaries and anything of the type. I had, in fact, grown a creative and curious child but it was time I had to plant a new seed regarding use of screens and electronics. 

For a moment of contemplation. Take a moment to jot down or think on what seeds have been planted in your life? In your children lives? What kind of cultivation are you ready for? 

It may be necessary to cultivate your garden, to uproot the weeds and straighten out the rows, planting new seeds – new ideas, broader visions and deeper realizations of life. New aspirations must be bedded here, fertilized with the fervor hope, the conviction of faith, the beauty of wholeness and quietness of peace. Watch your garden carefully, guarded patiently, waiting for a new harvest - for you shall reap what you have sown.

— Ernest Holmes, This Thing Called You Chapter V

The Garden is calling me- warmly yours,

Jennifer Caldwell

Youth and Family Coordinator

Saturday, December 16, 2023

Feeling Still in the Swirl

December Greetings! As we dive headfirst into the festive chaos that this time of the year brings—final projects, class parties, gift exchanges, and cherished family moments—it's easy to feel overwhelmed. Yet, amidst the whirlwind, there's an invitation to pause, take a deep breath, and rediscover the peace that resides at the center of it all.

The Essence of December: Finding Stillness Amidst the Bustle

In the midst of the holiday fervor, it's crucial to recognize that the tranquility we seek is not a distant destination; it's already present within us. December serves as a reminder that we don't need to wait for a perfect moment; we can create it ourselves by taking a moment to be present and grounded.

Youth and Family Focus: Exploring the Concept of Wholeness

This month, our journey in Youth and Family is centered around the theme of Wholeness. We invite you to reflect on your unique definition of wholeness and contemplate what it truly takes to feel complete in your own skin.

Ernest Holmes once beautifully expressed, "The spark which burns at the center of our own soul is caught from the living and eternal flame of Spirit." This poignant statement resonates deeply, emphasizing that our inner light is connected to something eternal and profound.

A Pause for Reflection: Defining Wholeness in Your Life

Take a moment to ponder: What does wholeness mean to you? Is it a sense of inner peace, fulfillment in your relationships, or alignment with your purpose? As we navigate the holiday rush, understanding and nurturing our personal sense of wholeness can be a guiding light.

Practical Steps: Cultivating Wholeness Amidst December's Demands

  1. Mindful Moments:

    • Incorporate brief moments of mindfulness into your day. Whether it's a short breathing exercise or a moment of quiet reflection, these pauses can bring you back to the present.
  2. Prioritize Your Well-being:

    • Amidst the hustle, prioritize self-care. Schedule time for activities that rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit.
  3. Connect with Loved Ones:

    • The holiday season is an excellent time for family and friends. Foster connections that bring joy and warmth to your heart.
  4. Gratitude Practices:

    • Cultivate gratitude by reflecting on the positive aspects of your life. A gratitude journal or a daily acknowledgment can shift your focus toward the abundance that surrounds you.

Closing Thoughts: A December Journey Towards Wholeness

As we navigate the December whirlwind, let's remember that amidst the festivities and obligations, our journey towards wholeness is a personal and ongoing exploration. Like Ernest Holmes' flame of Spirit, our inner spark is always aglow, waiting to illuminate the path to a more fulfilled and grounded life.

This December, may you find moments of stillness, embrace the warmth of connection, and define your own sense of wholeness amidst the holiday magic.

Wishing you a season filled with peace, joy, and self-discovery. Happy December!

December 20 we welcome all ages to come to our celebration of Solstice at 7pm

December 24 we will not have a Youth and Family Program but children are welcomed and encouraged to attend service with the adults in the sanctuary.

December 24 Candle lighting Services at 6 and 8pm

December 31 Youth and Family excitement coming 

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Pie Day

 Annual Pie Day is coming this week! On November 19 come join us for community and Pie.  I am told there will be many to choose from. Store bought, homemade, hand name it and I am here for it. 

I don't know about you but dessert is a very important topic in my household. Anywhere from "do we get to eat some tonight?" to what is the absolute best version. My little one doesn't love chocolate ( not sure if we are really aligned on that one...) and my big one can't keep her hands out of the sweets. My spouse loves Apple pie and ice cream and my favorite...Rhubarb hands down. 

On the calendar there is a picture of giant piece of pie so all know the excitement coming up. It's gotten me to think though- does pie have any greater importance? Is there a lesson to be learned from eating pie? 

I remember when I was a little girl my grandmother taught me how to make my favorite pie. We'd chop the rhubarb and clean it. She showed me how to make the crust. Shed send me to corner store to purchase the correct cheese. All of this was done in two languages as German was what she could remember when it came to cooking and English was all I had ever been formerly taught. 

We managed though. And those memories are so strong. We worked hard together to make those pies. We communicated and created something delicious. And when I eat a piece I remember her and her dedication to teach me her ways. They are sweet memories. She could have made them without me and much faster I am sure- but there was something in it for her too.

I wonder what my children will remember when they are older. Will something as simple as pie eating conjure memories? Maybe the smell of the redwoods we often walk in or perhaps the feel of ocean spray. We never can know which things will imprint on children. We do know that they are wonderful alive beings who capture and learn so much more than we will ever know. 

I do hope to see you all this weekend. I will be posting to introduce myself in weeks coming and you will start seeing regular posts. I will focus on our Youth and Family Program, child rearing and what New Thought teaching has to offer, and hopefully we can begin a dialogue as we journey together though one of life greatest gifts and challenges- Parenting!

Have a peaceful Day!


Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Hey Awesome Parents!

Guess what? We've rolled out the red carpet and are setting the stage for your kiddos to have a blast while you get your spiritual groove on! Yes, you heard it right; we've got Sunday mornings sorted with a VIP (Very Important Parent-and-kid) experience. 

Four Fabulously Fun-tastic Options:

1️⃣ Artistic Alley in the Sanctuary: Who said services can't be a color fest? Your mini Picassos can unleash their creativity with coloring sheets, all while soaking in the sanctuary vibes with you!

2️⃣ Tot Haven, AKA The Nursery: Got a cute munchkin aged 4 or under? The Nursery is like a mini-resort where you and your little ones can chill. Or leave them in the capable hands of our nursery attendants, who specialize in cooing and peekaboo.

3️⃣ Social Hall Cinema: Picture this—a large TV monitor where your kids can hang out and share some giggles and games while you keep an ear on the service. It's like Netflix, but with bonus spiritual enlightenment!

4️⃣ The No-Shush Room: No need to 'Shhh!' your kids in this room. Feel free to enjoy the service via live stream while your kids provide the soundtrack wit

h their adorable babbling. 

If you're as stoked about connecting as I am (and let's face it, why wouldn't you be?), drop an email to our Coordinator Jennifer Caldwell! Whether you've got questions or you're keen to join our league of extraordinary parent volunteers, She'd love to hear from you.

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Teen Camp Art Show is Just Around the Corner!

Have you seen the fabulous art our teens have made to help fundraise for Teen Camp this Winter? Here is a sneak preview!

Keep an eye out for our teens' art in the Social Hall this September. All art sale proceeds go toward funding our teens attending Winter Teen Camp in Oregon. 

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